Tuesday 14 June 2022

How the building materials’ supply chain is evolving to support environmental responsibility in construction - and responding to the net zero carbon challenge - was the focus of a constituency visit by Ruth Jones MP arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme.

The MP for Newport West visited Hughes Forrest, a 90-year old business based in the town, to see how it helps constituents to improve the thermal and energy performance of homes and workplaces.

Ruth Jones, who is the Labour Party’s Shadow Minister for Agri-Innovation and Climate Adaptation, was welcomed by Richard Brian and Nick Bulpin, Joint Managing Directors. Touring the branch, Mrs Jones was shown examples of the sustainable materials and products available to Hughes Forrest customers in its six South Wales branches. She also heard how merchants are managing in the face of higher raw material, energy, labour and transport costs and the impact on local SME customers.

Concluding her visit, Ruth Jones MP said:

“It was great to visit Hughes Forrest to learn how they are embracing low and zero-carbon initiatives, whilst continuing to serve their traditional house-building and property improvement markets”.

“It’s encouraging to find a local family-run business like Hughes Forrest, having just celebrated its 90th anniversary, face the future and embrace not only carbon-neutral suppliers, but carbon-negative ones too.

“I’d like to thank Richard, Nick and their team for helping local builders and DIY enthusiasts alike with their building and home improvement projects, and for giving me the opportunity to see for myself their contribution to not only the Newport economy, but also more widely throughout South Wales”.

The visit came two months after the introduction of the new Plastic Packaging Tax aimed at boosting levels of recycled content used in plastic packaging. There was also discussion about new UK-wide proposals to reform packaging waste regulations to introduce Extended Producer Responsibility from April 2024. Ministers in Cardiff and London have decided to implement this new legal obligation in phases, starting in two years’ time with household and street bin waste.

Richard Brian, Hughes Forrest Joint Managing Director said:

“We were delighted to welcome Ruth Jones and show her how Hughes Forrest has evolved over the ninety years since we began here in Newport back in 1931. It is great to have our MP take an interest in local firms like ours and offering her insight and support to help businesses to succeed”.

“Merchants ought to be aware that a shift is underway towards a sharper focus on the environmental consequences of packaging, and the way we use resources in our supply chain in a more efficient manner, knowing that stricter targets and stronger regulation are likely in future”.

The visit was another arranged by the BMF as part of its industry and parliament programme. The aim is to show MPs the role, value and importance of merchants in delivering for their communities.